Shortly before federal earmarks became all the rage, I reviewed every appropriation New Hampshire’s congressional delegation secured for fiscal year 2008. The earmarks encompassed 106 projects for non-profit organizations and for-profit companies.

I followed the trail, seeing where the tax dollars went – often, only a scant description was offered – and then checked if those earmark recipients had hired a lobbyist.

The third step was learning if those lobbyists, in turn, donated money to the politicians. Ultimately, the research showed three of the four elected officials had accepted money from either an earmark recipient or a lobbyist. But relative to others in Congress, the Granite State’s delegation acted above board.

Click here for the lead story to the series

It may have appeared money influenced decisions, but the legislators said donations had no sway. Read here

Companies and organizations haven’t been afraid to ask for earmarks; many times legislators will act on their behalf. Learn more

Two N.H. Senators went to bat often for a defense contractor, and the company’s PAC responded in kind. Click here

In 2008, reform on earmarks had started to build steam. Here is the article